Poltergeist (film): Wikis


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Poltergeist original theatrical poster
Directed by Tobe Hooper
Produced by Frank Marshall
Steven Spielberg
Written by Steven Spielberg
Michael Grais
Mark Victor
Starring Craig T. Nelson
JoBeth Williams
Beatrice Straight
Dominique Dunne
Oliver Robins
Heather O'Rourke
Zelda Rubinstein
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Cinematography Matthew F. Leonetti, ASC
Editing by Michael Kahn
Steven Spielberg
Studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) June 4, 1982 (U.S.)
June 5, 1982 (Canada)
August 5, 1982 (AUS)
September 16, 1982 (UK)
Running time 114 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $10,700,000 (estimated)
Gross revenue $76,606,280[1] (domestic)
Followed by Poltergeist II: The Other Side

Poltergeist is an American horror film, directed by Tobe Hooper, produced by Steven Spielberg, and released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on June 4, 1982. It is the first and most successful of the Poltergeist film trilogy, and was nominated for three Academy Awards.[2]

The franchise is often said to be cursed, because several people associated with it, including stars Dominique Dunne and Heather O'Rourke, died prematurely. "The Poltergeist Curse" has been the focus of an E! True Hollywood Story.[3]

The film was ranked as #80 on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments and the Chicago Film Critics Association named it the 20th scariest film ever made.[4] The film also appeared on American Film Institute's 100 Years... 100 Thrills, a list of America's most heart-pounding movies.[5]



A group of seemingly benign ghosts begin communicating with five-year-old Carol Anne Freeling (Heather O'Rourke) in her parents' suburban California home via static on the television. Eventually they use the television as their path into the house itself. A number of bizarre occurrences are subsequently observed, including an earthquake that only the Freelings feel, glasses and utensils that spontaneously break or bend at the breakfast table, and the ominous announcement by Carol Anne, "They're here." Though mother Dianne Freeling (JoBeth Williams) begins to realize the presence of beings in her home, their antics are benign at first, such as moving and stacking the kitchen table chairs. When her husband, Steven Freeling (Craig T. Nelson), notices these happenings, however, he is disturbed rather than fascinated.

During a rainstorm one night, a gnarled tree comes to life and grabs son Robbie (Oliver Robins), through his bedroom window. However, this is merely a distraction used by the ghosts to get Carol Anne's parents to leave her unattended. While Diane and Steven rescue Robbie, Carol Anne is sucked through a portal in her closet. The horrified Freelings realize she's been taken after they begin to hear her communicating through her television set.

When a group of parapsychologists from UC Irvine, Dr. Lesh (Beatrice Straight), Ryan (Richard Lawson), and Marty (Martin Casella), come to the Freeling house to investigate, they are awestruck and humbled by the manifestations they witness. They determine that the Freelings are experiencing a poltergeist. They explain that the spirits have not gone into the "Light", but are stuck between dimensions, and have taken Carol Anne because, being an innocent 5-year-old who was born in the house, her "life force" is as bright to them as the Light, and they believe she is their salvation.

After a series of paranormal episodes that frightens all in the house, Robbie and elder sister Dana (Dominique Dunne) are sent away for their safety. The parapsychologists leave with the data they collected, but Dr. Lesh and Ryan return with a spiritual medium, Tangina Barrons (Zelda Rubinstein), who informs Diane that Carol Anne is alive and in the house. She also explains that there is a single malevolent spirit present in the house, very powerful and utterly evil, whom she calls the "Beast", who exploits the fact that the despairing spirits are confused and lost, and uses Carol Anne as a distraction so they cannot move on into the Light.

The assembled group realizes that whereas the entrance to the other dimension is through the children's bedroom closet, the exit is through the living room ceiling. Diane enters the closet, with a rope tied around her that is anchored to Steven. As Tangina coaxes the agonized spirits away from Carol Anne, Diane retrieves her daughter and emerges through the living room ceiling, falling to the floor with Carol Anne. Tangina announces, "this house is clean."

However, while the spirits have moved on, the Beast has not. On their final night in the house prior to moving out, the Beast attacks Diane and the children. Diane runs to her neighbors for help, and in the process, slips and falls into the swimming pool, from which coffins and rotting corpses emerge. Her neighbors, terrified by the ghostly energy blazing from the house, refuse to enter it, but Diane runs back into it. After Robbie and Carol Anne are pulled out of the house, and Dana herself returns from a date, the reason for the spirits presence is revealed, as coffins and dead bodies begin exploding out of the ground all throughout the neighborhood.

As Steven returns home and witnesses this, he realizes, that when the subdivision was first built, Frank Teague, the real estate developer — for whom he worked — chose to save money on relocating an existing cemetery on the site by moving only the tombstones. An enraged Steven confronts Teague with the knowledge that by leaving the bodies in unmarked graves and building houses on top of them, Teague desecrated their burial grounds. As the Freelings flee down the street in their car, their entire house implodes into the otherworldly portal, as stunned neighbors, including Steven's now-ashamed boss, look on. The family checks into a Holiday Inn for the night, and taking no chances, Steven puts the television outside.



Director Tobe Hooper claims to have experienced poltergeist activity as a young man. During his teenage years, Hooper's father had died and for weeks after his death Hooper witnessed "doors breaking in, dishes flying around the residence and other bizarre occurrences". Hooper comments that's what attracted him to the project.

Creative relationship

A clause in his contract with Universal Studios prevented Spielberg from directing any other film while preparing E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.[6] Time and Newsweek tagged the summer of 1982 "The Spielberg Summer" because E.T. and Poltergeist were released a week apart in June. As such a marketable name, some began to question Spielberg's role during production. Suggestions that Spielberg had greater directorial influence than the credits suggest were aided by comments made by the writer/producer:

"Tobe isn't... a take-charge sort of guy. If a question was asked and an answer wasn't immediately forthcoming, I'd jump in and say what we could do. Tobe would nod agreement, and that become the process of collaboration."[7]

The Directors Guild of America "opened an investigation into the question of whether or not Hooper's official credit was being denigrated by statements Spielberg has made, apparently claiming authorship." Co-producer Frank Marshall told the Los Angeles Times that "the creative force of the movie was Steven. Tobe was the director and was on the set every day. But Steven did the design for every storyboard and he was on the set every day except for three days when he was in Hawaii with Lucas." However, Hooper claimed that he "did fully half of the storyboards."[6]

The Hollywood Reporter printed an open letter from Spielberg to Hooper in the week of the film's release.

Regrettably, some of the press has misunderstood the rather unique, creative relationship which you and I shared throughout the making of Poltergeist.
I enjoyed your openness in allowing me... a wide berth for creative involvement, just as I know you were happy with the freedom you had to direct Poltergeist so wonderfully.
Through the screenplay you accepted a vision of this very intense movie from the start, and as the director, you delivered the goods. You performed responsibly and professionally throughout, and I wish you great success on your next project.[8]

Several members of the Poltergeist cast and crew have over the years consistently alleged that Spielberg was the 'de facto director' of the picture, while other actors have claimed Hooper directed the film. In a 2007 interview with Ain't It Cool News, Rubinstein discussed her recollections of the shooting process. She said that "Steven directed all six days" that she was on set: "Tobe set up the shots and Steven made the adjustments." She also alleged that Hooper "allowed some unacceptable chemical agents into his work," and at her interview felt that time "Tobe was only partially there."[9] In a interview with Deadpit radio, Lou Perryman stated "Tobe directed me and everything I saw while I was there, he directed". Oliver Robbins (who played Robbie) said that Tobe Hooper was the director. Craig T. Nelson also confirmed Hooper as the director, strongly influenced by Spielberg.

Special effects

In 2002, on an episode of VH1's I Love the '80s, JoBeth Williams revealed that the production used real human skeletons when filming the swimming pool scene. Many of the people on the set were alarmed by this and led others to believe the "curse" on the film series was because of this use. Craig Reardonf, a special effects artist who worked on the film, commented at the time that it was cheaper to purchase real skeletons than plastic ones as the plastic ones involved labor in making them. Williams wasn't afraid of the prop skeletons, but she was nervous working in water around so many electrically-powered lights. Producer Spielberg comforted her by being in the water during her scenes, claiming that if a light fell into the pool, they'd both be killed. Poltergeist was awarded the BAFTA Award for Best Special Visual Effects and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.[10]

Home video release

In 1997, MGM released Poltergeist on DVD in a snap case, and the only special feature was a trailer. In 1998, Poltergeist was re-released on DVD with the same cover and disc as the 1997 release, but in a keep case and with an eight page booklet. In 1999, it was released on DVD again by Warner Home Video in a snap case with the same disc, but a different cover. Warner Home Video tentatively scheduled releases for the 25th anniversary edition of the film on standard DVD, HD DVD and Blu-Ray[11] in Spain and the US on 9 October 2007. The re-release claimed to have digitally remastered picture and sound, and a two-part documentary: "They Are Here: The Real World of Poltergeists", which makes extensive use of clips from the film. The remastered DVD of the film was released as scheduled but both high-definition releases were eventually canceled. Warner rescheduled the high definition version of the film and eventually released it only on the Blu-Ray disc format on October 14, 2008.[12]

The Blu-ray disc release still had the "25th Anniversary Edition" banner[13] even though this particular release was a full year behind the actual anniversary of the film. The Blu-ray disc release was packaged in collectible, non-standard Blu-Ray disc packaging Warner Home Video calls "digibook" which is supposed to resemble a coffee table book and contains pictures from the film on its pages.

A six disc prototype, from the abandoned 20th Anniversary Special Edition, surfaced on eBay a few years ago and still crops up from time to time. Special features included the The First Real Ghost Story and The Making of Poltergeist featurettes, screenplay, several photo galleries and Fangoria interviews, and the documentaries E! True Hollywood Story, Hollywood Ghost Stories and Terror in The Aisles. The 6th disc was a copy of the original motion picture soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith.


Poltergeist was a box office success worldwide. The film grossed $76,606,280[14] in the United States, making it the 8th biggest release (regardless of genre) and highest grossing horror film of 1982.[15]

Poltergeist was well-received by critics,[16] and is considered by many as one of the best films of 1982.[17][18][19] Many critics discussed the role of the white American middle class family in the film. Douglas Brode compares the "family values" in Poltergeist to the Bush/Quayle 1992 reelection campaign.[20] Andrew Sarris, in The Village Voice, wrote that when Carol Anne is lost the parents and the two older children "come together in blood-kin empathy to form a larger-than-life family that will reach down to the gates of hell to save its loved ones."[20] In the L.A. Herald Examiner, Peter Rainer wrote:

Buried within the plot of Poltergeist is a basic, splendid fairy tale scheme: the story of a little girl who puts her parents through the most outrageous tribulation to prove their love for her. Underlying most fairy tales is a common theme: the comforts of family. Virtually all fairy tales begin with a disrupting of the family order, and their conclusion is usually a return to order.[20]

Nearly 30 years after its release, the film is regarded by many critics as a classic of the horror genre[21][22] and maintains an 86% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[23] Poltergeist was selected by The New York Times as one of The Best 1000 Movies Ever Made.[24] The film also received recognition from the American Film Institute. The film ranked number 84 on AFI's 100 Years…100 Thrills list,[25] and the tag line "They're here" was named the 69th greatest movie quote on AFI's 100 Years…100 Movie Quotes.[26]

Re-releases, sequels and spinoffs

The film was re-released in cinemas for one night only on Thursday, October 4, 2007 as a promotion for the new restored and remastered 25th anniversary DVD released on October 9. This event also included the documentary They Are Here: The Real World of Poltergeists, which was created for the new DVD.

The film spawned two sequels, Poltergeist II: The Other Side and Poltergeist III. They retained the family but introduced all-new reasons for the Beast's behavior, tying him to an evil cult leader named Henry Kane, who led his religious sect to their doom in the 1820s. As the Beast, Kane went to extraordinary lengths to keep his "flock" under his control, even in death. He used Carol Anne to do this, as he discovered his flock was attracted to her innocence. Kane and his flock were never mentioned in the first movie, only that the Beast needed Carol Anne to hold spirits captive. But the original motive—building a housing development on top of a cemetery, thus disturbing the souls of those buried there—was altered; the cemetery was now on top of a cave where Kane and his flock met their ends.

MGM announced in 2008 that Vadim Perelman will direct a remake, and that Juliet Snowden and Stiles White are writing the script. MGM will release Poltergeist November 24, 2010.[27][28]

The Poltergeist curse

"The Poltergeist curse" is the rumor of a supposed curse attached to the Poltergeist motion picture series and its stars. The rumor is superstition largely derived from the fact that four cast members died in the six years between the release of the first film and the release of the third, with one dying during production of the second film. Two of them died at young ages, 12 and 22. It is not clear that these particular films are atypical in the number or nature of the deaths of their actors, and at least two of the supposed victims had serious health problems before becoming attached to the film series.[29]

The actors who are supposed victims of the curse include:

The Poltergeist series is considered by some to be the most famous of a handful of movies and television series said to have been cursed, others including The Crow and The Dark Knight.[34]

Cultural impact

Poltergeist has been referenced in several films, television shows and music videos.

In "Petergeist", the tree is based on the one that captures Robbie.
  • An episode of Family Guy called "Petergeist" parodied the events in Poltergeist. Peter builds a multiplex in his backyard and discovers an Indian burial ground. When he takes an Indian chief’s skull, a poltergeist invades the Griffins’ home. The episode also used some of the same musical cues heard in the film, and recreated four scenes, including baby Stewie saying, "They're here", the portal in the closet, a hallucinating Peter ripping his face off to reveal that of Hank Hill from King of the Hill, and the house imploding. However, the clown is replaced with Ronald McDonald, and after Lois leaves the television outside, Peter pushes the television back and leaves Meg outside.[35]
  • In the American Dad! episode "The American Dad After School Special", Francine discovers a pool filled with food, just like Diane's discovery of the pool hole filled with coffins and dead bodies. Hayley yells, "What's happening?!", just like Dana did in Poltergeist.
  • At the end of the first Simpsons Treehouse of Horror installment, "Bad Dream House", the house in which the Simpsons move turns out to be haunted. After repeated failed attempts to scare them away, it implodes in a way similar to that of the house at the end of Poltergeist, rather than spend life with the Simpson family. In Treehouse of Horror VI's Homer³, Homer enters the third dimension and communicates with his family in a reverberating voice similar to that of Carol Anne's when she speaks through the television. In an attempt to rescue Homer, Bart enters the dimension with a rope tied around him, similar to the manner Carol Anne is retrieved by Diane.
  • South Park has referenced the film several times. In "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson", Cartman makes Dr. Nelson say "Carol Anne - don't go into the light" during the fight with him. In the episode "Spookyfish", a pet store built over unmoved bodies in a former cemetery causes a vortex behind a closed door akin to the rift in Carol Anne's bedroom closet. In the episode "The Biggest Douche in the Universe", Chef's mother exorcises Kenny's soul out of Cartman then states, "This child is clean," a parody of Tangina's line, "This house is clean" in the film. The episode "Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes", the boys are told to break a mirror to bring down the Wall-Mart store, just as Tangina told Carol Anne to do to get away from Kane in Poltergeist II. Once Stan and Kyle break the mirror, the store implodes and disappears into another dimension just as the Freeling house does at the end of Poltergeist. A doctor resembling Dr. Tangina appears when Ike is possessed by Michael Jackson in the episode "Dead Celebrities".
  • In The X-Files episode "Shadows", Mulder and Scully were discussing what had taken over their car and caused them to crash. Mulder believes that a young woman they had just visited had caused the crash via psychokinetic powers. When Scully questions Mulder's beliefs, Mulder also says it could be a poltergeist. Scully then mocks him by saying, "They're here!" Mulder replies, "Yes, they just might be."
  • In the Wonderfalls episode "Lying Pig", Jaye's brother declares "This trailer is clean, kind of" after helping her remove all of the talking objects à la Zelda Rubinstein. In the Chilly Beach episode "Polargeist", a direct spoof of the first film, Dale discovers ghosts in his house and is abducted into the spirit world through his beer fridge.
  • In the music video for the Spice Girls song "Too Much" Emma Bunton recreates a scene from the movie.
  • In Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Jim Carrey having just diagnosed that Roger Podactor was murdered instead of having committed suicide remarks: "I have exorcised the demons!" He also later adds "This house is clean." Both of which are quotes from Poltergeist.
  • In the April 19, 2007 episode of Supernatural, Dean explains to his brother the curse of the set of Poltergeist. Also in a first season episode called Home, Dean makes a reference to Missouri Mosley cleaning out their old house of a poltergeist by commenting on her doing her "whole Zelda Rubinstein thing," a reference to the actress who portrayed Tangina Barrons in all three Poltergeist films.
  • In an episode of Roseanne, Roseanne's sister Jackie cleans the house thoroughly to get it ready for the homecoming of Darlene's baby. After cleaning, she says, "This house is clean" in a voice that imitates Tangina's when she says the line in the movie.
  • Scary Movie 2 parodies the clown scene by having Ray (Shawn Wayans) sexually assault him under the bed.
  • Comedian and actor Eddie Murphy is known for a stand-up routine involving the plot in his HBO Special, Delirious.

See also


  1. ^ http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=poltergeist.htm
  2. ^ Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "Poltergeist Award Nominations". http://awardsdatabase.oscars.org/ampas_awards/DisplayMain.jsp?curTime=1264912690163. Retrieved January 31, 2010. 
  3. ^ Any number of supernatural horror films have been made without bad things happening to those involved but that is overlooked.
  4. ^ "Top 100 Scariest Movies" Chicago Film Critics Association
  5. ^ http://www.afi.com/Docs/tvevents/pdf/thrills100.pdf
  6. ^ a b Brode, Douglas (2000). The Films of Steven Spielberg. New York: Citadel Press. p. 101. ISBN 0-8065-1951-7. 
  7. ^ Brode, pg 102
  8. ^ Brode, pg 99-100
  9. ^ "Click over, children! All are welcome! All welcome! Quint interviews Zelda Rubinstein!!!!". Ain't It Cool News. 2007-10-02. http://www.aintitcool.com/node/34266. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  10. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084516/awards
  11. ^ "Live Chat with Warner Home Video". Home Theater Forum. 2007-02-26. http://www.hometheaterforum.com/chat/warner07.txt. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  12. ^ (For verification, you can visit Warner's pre-order page here: http://whv.warnerbros.com/WHVPORTAL/Portal/product.jsp?OID=50397)
  13. ^ (as seen here: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/movies.php?id=540)
  14. ^ Poltergeist (1982)
  15. ^ "POLTERGEIST". BOX OFFICE MOJO. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=poltergeist.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  16. ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1016513-poltergeist/
  17. ^ http://www.filmsite.org/1982.html
  18. ^ http://www.film.com/features/story/10-best-movies-of-1982/15287150
  19. ^ http://www.imdb.com/year/1982
  20. ^ a b c cited in Brode, p. 111
  21. ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1016513-poltergeist/?page=2&critic=columns&sortby=date&name_order=desc&view=#contentReviews
  22. ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1016513-poltergeist/?page=3&critic=approved&sortby=date&name_order=desc&view=#contentReviews
  23. ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1016513-poltergeist/
  24. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/ref/movies/1000best.html
  25. ^ http://connect.afi.com/site/DocServer/thrills100.pdf?docID=250
  26. ^ http://connect.afi.com/site/DocServer/quotes100.pdf?docID=242
  27. ^ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (2008-09-03). "Vadim Perelman to Direct MGM's New 'POLTERGEIST'". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS200137+03-Sep-2008+PRN20080903. Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  28. ^ UPDATE: MGM Puts 'Poltergeist' Release Date on Hold
  29. ^ a b R. Arnold, "Strangled Actress; Did Slayer's Penalty Fit His Crime?" Los Angeles Times, December 3, 1986; Poltergeist Deaths on the Urban Legends Reference Pages
  30. ^ "Dominique Dunne, Actress, Dies After Being Choked," The New York Times, November 5, 1982; Biography for Dominique Dunne on the Internet Movie Database
  31. ^ S. Freedman, "Julien Beck, 60, is Dead; Founded Living Theater," The New York Times, September 17, 1985
  32. ^ B. Folkart, "Role in Cuckoo's Nest; Will Sampson, Gentle Indian Giant, Dies," Los Angeles Times, June 4, 1987
  33. ^ "Heather O'Rourke, 12, Dies, San Diego Actress," The San Diego Union-Tribune, February 2, 1988; B. Folkart, "Poltergeist Star Heather O'Rourke Dies at Age of 12," Los Angeles Times, February 3, 1988
  34. ^ Video; Fox and Friends; Fox News; 2008; Accessed January 28, 2010
  35. ^ "Petergeist". TV.com. http://www.tv.com/family-guy/petergeist/episode/664917/summary.html. Retrieved 2007-06-25. 

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Poltergeist is a 1982 film about a southern-California family whose home is haunted by a host of ghosts.

Directed by Tobe Hooper. Written by Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais, and Mark Victor.
They're Here. taglines


Diane Freeling

  • Sleepwalking ... 'Nocturnal somnabulism.' You know what? You know what? I will bet you anything it's genetic. I mean, Carol Anne last night, and all last week, you know -- and me when I was ten. You know, I once slept-walked four blocks, and I fell asleep in the back of this guy's car. He drove all the way to work before discovering me. Oh God, I woke up, I started screaming. People came running, from everywhere. They called the cops, the cops came, they took this poor dude downtown. My father, Big -- he, Big Ed has me examined for like bruises and hickies, you name it, Oh God, I was so embarrassed. (beat) Oh, shit, Steven -- what if we, like, dig the pool, you know -- and Carol Anne sleepwalks and she falls into it before there's any water?
  • Reach back into our past when you used to have an open mind, remember that? Now try to use that for the next couple of minutes...
  • Run to the light, Carol Anne. Run as fast as you can! Mommy is in the light! Mommy is waiting for you in the light!!!!!!!
  • Bastards, she's just a baby! Help her, help her. Can't you hear what's happening?! Help her.
  • No, don't touch my baby!!!!!!
  • It's like, it's like, there's this tickling, you know, right in here. And it starts to pull you. The tickling pulls you. And all of a sudden, it's like there's no air except that you can breathe. And you're getting pulled along and --
  • She just moved through me. My God. I felt her. I can smell her. It's her. It's her. Smell my clothes. It's her. She's all over me. It's her. She's on me. It's her. I felt her. It's her. It is. It's...it is...it's my baby. It's my baby. She went through my soul.

Steve Freeling

  • A three meter board is like an air pocket, sweetheart. When you dive off, it's like free-falling.
  • We keep the room locked off from the rest of the house. Robbie's sleeping with us now -- Dana, she spends a lot of time with friends.
  • So. What side of the rainbow are we working tonight, Dr. Lesh? Is this your Knott's Berry Farm solution?
  • [bodies begin shooting out of his house & yard; to Teague] You son of a bitch, you moved the cemetery but you left the bodies, didn't you? You son of a bitch! You left the bodies and you only moved the headstones!! YOU ONLY MOVED THE HEADSTONES!!! WHY?! WHY?!!!

Carol Anne Freeling

  • [to the TV] Hello? What do you look like? Talk louder, I can't hear you!!!! Hey, hello! Hello, I can't hear you! Five. Yes! Yes. I don't know. I don't know.
  • I can hear you Mommy. Where are you?
  • [readying her deceased pet bird for burial in his eternal cigar box] For when he's hungry...for when he's lonely...and when it's nightime.

Robbie Freeling

  • Is that our house?! Who are all those people?! Where are they coming from?!
  • If I got killed, I could visit her and show her how to get back here. You could tie a rope around me and hold it tight. Then somebody could come and get us and we could live somewhere else.
  • I got beat up once by three kids ... They took my lunch money. Maybe they got hit by a truck, and they're upstairs right now!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dr. Lesh

  • Parapsychology isn't something you master in. There are no certificates of graduation. No licenses to practice... I am a professional psychologist who spent most of my time engaged in this ghostly hobby, which makes me I suppose the most irresponsible woman of my age that I know.
  • It isn't over. I'm absolutely terrified... It's all the things that we don't understand. I feel like the proto-human coming out of the forest primeval and seeing the moon for the first time and throwing rocks at it.
  • I'm leaving Ryan here with you. Marty won't be coming back. I ... I'm coming back. And I'll bring some help. Try not to worry.

Tangina Barrons

  • This house has many hearts.
  • Your daughter is alive and in this house.
  • Y'all mind hanging back? You're jammin' my frequency.
  • Now, clear your minds. It knows what scares you. It has from the very beginning. Don't give it any help, it knows too much already.
  • No. no. no... Go down stairs and wait by Ryan and pull. Only when I say so, Only when I say.
  • [Diane says she has never done this before] You're right. You go.
  • Cross over, children. All are welcome. All welcome, go into the light...there is peace and serenity in the light.
  • [Steven is trying to pull Diane out of the closet] Steven, not yet!
  • This house is clean.


Steve: Somethin's funny goin' on here next door. Somethin', uh --
Diane: We were wondering if maybe you had experienced any disturbances lately? ... Oh you know, like dishes or furniture moving around by themselves.

Steve: Tomorrow I'm going to call someone --
Diane: Oh yeah? Who, for instance? I already looked in the Yellow Pages. "Furniture Movers" we got; "Strange Phenomenon", there's no listing.

Mr. Teague: One of your children was born in your house, huh?
Steve: Carol Anne.
Mr. Teague: I understand that she's missed a lot of school...I didn't see her.
Steve: She's around.
Mr. Teague: Listen, I wonder if you'd mind if I asked you a question? Are you thinking about leaving Cuesta Verde?...How's that spot for a bay window, huh?
Steve: Yeah, well, it's pretty nice if you're living up here, but uh, not so great down there in the valley havin' to look at a bunch of homes cutting into the hillside.
Mr. Teague: But you don't have to live in the valley anymore.
Steve: What are you saying?
Mr. Teague: We're starting Phase Five right here where we're standing. All of this can be your master bedroom suite. That can be your view. Interested?
Steve: Oh, Mr. Teague, you know, that's a generous offer. I'm just not a developer.
Mr. Teague: You're responsible for 42 percent of sales. That's almost half of everything down there. Almost 70 million dollars worth of dwelling and properties. Now that's a whole generation of security that nobody can put a price-tag on. Now look, I know we should have made you a full partner three years ago. Well, I don't want to lose you now.

Steve: Not much room for a pool, is there?
Mr. Teague: We own all the land. We've already made arrangements for relocating the cemetery.
Steve: Oh you're kidding. Oh come on. That's sacreligious, isn't it?
Mr. Teague: Oh, don't worry about it. After all, it's not ancient tribal burial ground. It's just people. Besides, we've done it before.
Steve: When?
Mr. Teague: In '76, right down there.
Steve: Cuesta Verde?
Mr. Teague: All three hundred acres. Well, let me tell you, it was quite a deal!
Steve: No, no. But I never heard anything about it, though.
Mr. Teague: That's not the sort of thing one goes around advertising on a billboard or on the side of a bus. What are you worried about? Friends and relatives can visit their loved ones in Rockston Memorial Park - it's only five minutes further, for Christ's sake.

Steve: You know Teague, he won't take "Go to Hell" for an answer.
Diane: What are you going to do?
Steve: I'm gonna give him directions.

Diane: Sweetheart, last night, when you said "They're here.'...
Carol Anne: Can I take my goldfish to school?
Diane: Sweetheart, do you remember last night when you woke up, and you said "They're here.'?
Carol Anne: Uh huh.
Diane: Well, who did you mean, who's here?
Carol Anne: The TV People.
Robbie: She's stoned.
Dana: Oh yeah? What do you know about it?
Robbie: More than you. Ask Dad.
Dana: Ask Dad.
Carol Anne: Ask Dad.
All: Ask Dad. Ask Dad.
Robbie: Ask Dad. Ask Dad. [glass breaks & spills all over Dana's homework] Not my mess.
Dana: Thanks a lont jerko. I've got class in 20 minutes.

Diane: [looking at rearranged furniture] TV people?
Carol Anne: Uh-huh.
Diane: Do you see them?
Carol Anne: Uh-uh. Do you?
Diane: Uh-uh.

Rob: I don't like the tree, Dad.
Steve: That's an old tree, it's been around here a long time. I think it was here before my company built the neighborhood.
Rob: I don't like its arms. [whispering] It knows I live here, doesn't it?
Steve: It knows everything about us, Rob, that's why I built the house next to it, so it could protect us: you and Carol Anne, and Dana and your mom and me ... It's a very wise old tree.
Rob: It looks at me. It knows I live here.

Dr. Casey: I was just about to check out the kids' bedroom, and I don't know, somethin' took a bite out of me! :Robbie: You got bit?
Dr. Casey: Yeah, that or the worst muscle spasm in the world.

Dr. Casey: There's been some ionization flux. I'd like to make sure it's not caused by humidity coming from structural leakage, but I'm not goin' up there to find out. We have got much more than the paranormal episode taking place here. There's measurable physical science in this house that goes far beyond any of the creaking doors or cold spots I've ever experienced.
Dr. Lesh: The voice source on television - where is it coming from?
Ryan: The absence of a signal on the channel that is not receiving a broadcast means that it is free to receive a lot of noise from all sorts of things - like short wave, solar disturbances, car ignition sparkings -- outer space -- or inner space. Yes, what if these people had an area of bi-location in their own living room? No, I mean: if that is the way out then maybe somewhere in this house, there's a way in.

Robbie: Who are all those people?
Dr. Lesh: They're so alone. So alone.
Robbie: Where are they coming from?
Diane: I don't know.

Dr. Lesh: Well, I'm off. Now these tapes, I am going to have to present them you know.
Steve: Oh please, not on 60 Minutes.
Diane: Or That's Incredible.

Dr. Lesh: Would your family welcome a serious investigation of these disturbances by someone who can make first-hand observations?
Steve: Dr. Lesh, we really don't care about the disturbances -- the pounding and the flashing, the screaming ... the music. We just want you to find our little girl.

Ryan: Mr. Freeling, we'll record any psychotronic energy or event.
Dr. Lesh: Yes, Ryan photographed an extraordinary episode on a case in Redlands.
Ryan: That's right. It was a child's toy, a very small Matchbox vehicle. Rolled seven feet across a linoleum surface. The duration of the event was seven hours.
Steve: Seven hours for what?
Ryan: For the vehicle to complete the distance. Of course, this would never register on the naked eye. But I have it recorded on a time-lapse camera. It's fantastic.
Steve: -- Mm-hm --
[opens door to see objects flying around children's room]

Diane: How long have you been investigating haunted houses?
Dr. Lesh: Mrs. Freeling, the determination as to whether your home is haunted is not very easy. [A heavy teapot slides across the table in front of her] I -- what I meant to say was, it might very well be a poltergeist intrusion instead of a classic haunting.
[Light flashes twice]
Diane: There's going to be two more in a couple of seconds. They always come in pairs.
Dr. Lesh: Dr. Casey.
[Casey fails to photograph the light flashes]
Diane: You got to be quicker than that around here.
Steve: There's a difference?
Ryan: It's electrical. You can smell the charge.
Dr. Lesh: Poltergeist are usually associated with an individual. Hauntings seem to be connected with an area, a house usually.
Marty: Poltergeist disturbances are of fairly short duration, perhaps a couple of months. Hauntings can go on for -- years.
Diane: Are you telling me that all of this could just suddenly end at any time?
Dr. Lesh: Yes, it could, unless it's a haunting. But hauntings don't usually revolve around living people.
Diane: Then we don't have much time, Dr. Lesh, because my daughter is alive somewhere inside this house.

Dr. Lesh: Some people believe that when you die, your soul goes to heaven.
Robbie: When Grandpa was dying, I looked at him in the hospital bed. And I was watching. But I didn't see anything go up out of him.
Diane: Well, his soul is invisible, Robbie. You couldn't see it.
Robbie: But how come Grandpa isn't there on television with Carol Anne?
Dr. Lesh: Some people believe that when people die, there's a wonderful light -- as bright as the sun. But it doesn't hurt to look into it. All the answers to all the questions that you ever want to know are inside that light. And when you walk to it, you become a part of it forever. (beat) And then, some people die but they -- don't know that they've gone.
Robbie: They think they're still alive?
Dr. Lesh: Yes. Maybe they didn't want to die. Maybe they weren't ready. Maybe they hadn't lived fully yet or they'd lived a long, long time and they still wanted more life. They resist going into that light, however hard the light wants them. They just -- hang around. Watch TV, watch their friends grow up -- feeling unhappy and jealous and those feelings are bad. They hurt. (beat) And then, some people just get lost on the way to the light, and they need someone to guide them to it.
Robbie: So some people get angry and throw things around - like in my bedroom?
Dr. Lesh: Yes. Just like in school. Like -- some kids are nice to you, some kids are mean.
Robbie: I got beat up once by three kids. They took my lunch money. Maybe they got hit by a truck and they're upstairs right now!

Diane: Uhhh ... this is probably going to be seem a little strange. We hear better on this channel, don't ask me why. Well, uh -- I guess I'll call her. Carol Anne? ... it's Mommy, sweetheart. We want to talk to you. Please answer me, baby. Please answer me. Please talk to me, bunny.
Marty: -- look at the dog --
Diane: Are you with us now? Can you... can you say hello to daddy?
Carol Anne: Hello, Daddy.
Steve: Hello, Sweetpea.
Diane: It's Mommy, sweetheart.
Carol Anne: Hello, Mommy.
Diane: Hello, baby. Can you see me? Can you see Mommy?
Carol Anne: Mommy? Where are you? Where are you?
Diane: We're home, baby. We're home. Can you find me? Can you find a way to us, baby?
Carol Anne: Mommy, where are you? I can't find you. I can't. I'm afraid of the Light, mommy. I'm afraid of the Light.
Dr. Lesh: Tell her to stay away from the light.
Diane: Maybe it's a way out --
Dr. Lesh: It is -- it is a way out, but not for her. Tell her, quickly.
Diane: Stay away from the light. The light is dangerous. Don't go near it. Don't even look at the light.
Carol Anne: Mommy, there's somebody here ... Mommy, somebody's coming. Mommy, help me, please! Get away from me. Leave me alone!
Diane: She just moved through me. My God, I felt her. I can smell her. It's her...She's all over me... She went through my soul.

Tangina: I'd give my strongest feeling. The point of origin is in the child's closet upstairs.
Diane: Yes, I believe that too.
Tangina: Honey, are you gonna be strong for me and for your daughter? I can do absolutely nothing without your faith in this world and your love for the children.
Diane: I will, believe me I will.
Tangina: And will you do anything I ask, even if it comes contrary to your beliefs as a human being and a Christian?
Diane: Yes, I promise, please.
Tangina: There is no death. It is only a transition to a different sphere of consciousness. Carol Anne is not like those she's with. She's a living presence in their spiritual, earth-bound plane. They're attracted to the one thing about her that's different from themselves. Her life-force - it is very strong. It gives off its own illumination. It is a light that implies life and memory of love and home and earthly pleasures, something they desperately desire but can't have anymore. Right now, she's the closest thing to that, and that is a terrible distraction from the real light that has finally come for them. Do you understand me? These souls who for whatever reason are not at rest are also not aware that they have passed on. They're not part of consciousness as we know it. They're in a perpetual dream state, a nightmare from which they cannot wake. Inside this spectral light is salvation - a window to the next plane. They must pass through this membrane with friends who are waiting to guide them to new destinies. Carol Anne must help them cross over, and she will only hear her mother's voice. Now, hold onto your selves. There's one more thing - a terrible presence is in there with her. So much rage, so much betrayal. I've never sensed anything like it. I don't know what hovers over this house, but it was strong enough to punch a hole into this world and take your daughter away from you. It keeps Carol Anne very close to it and away from the spectral light. It lies to her. It says things only a child can understand. He's been using her to restrain the others. To her, it simply is another child. To us, it is the Beast. Now let's go get your daughter.

Tangina: You can't choose between life and death when we're dealing with what is in between. Now tell her before it's too late.
Diane: Run to the light, baby. Mommy is in the light.
Tangina: Tell her you're waiting for her.
Diane: Mommy's waiting for you in the light. [under her breath to Tangina] I hate you for that.

Tangina: Help me tie this around my waist.
Diane: What do you think you're doing?
Tangina: I'm going in after her.
Diane: She won't come to you. Let me go.
Tangina: You've never done this before.
Diane: Neither have you.
Tangina: [pause] You're right. You go.


  • They're Here.
  • It Knows What Scares You.
  • Some Things Have To Be Believed To Be Seen.
  • The First Real Ghost Story.


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